Gareth Bale
Tottenham Hotspur's Gareth Bale walks off the pitch after their English Premier League match against Arsenal in London REUTERS

Former Premier League referee Graham Poll believes Gareth Bale should be retrospectively punished for diving after the Tottenham midfielder won a highly-controversial penalty in Sunday's 5-2 defeat to Arsenal.

Arsenal recovered from two goals down to trounce London rivals Tottenham in an exhilarating derby at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

Tottenham were two nil up inside 35 minutes after goals from Louis Saha and an Emmanuel Adebayor penalty gave the visitors a commanding lead.

But Arsenal, on the back of their 4-0 Champions League thrashing against AC Milan in Italy and an FA Cup exit to Sunderland, mounted a stirring comeback to defy their critics and leave Harry Redknapp's side shell-shocked.

Nevertheless, Tottenham's Gareth Bale came under heavy scrutiny after the match for his role in Spurs' fortuitous penalty, midway through the first-half.

Referee Mike Dean pointed to the spot after Bale fell dramatically under goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny's challenge as he ran on to a through ball from Luka Modric.

Replays showed minimal contact between the two players and Poll has called on the Football Association to review the incident and ban Bale for diving.

"In such games, and perhaps all games, it is always advisable only to give 'stonewall' penalty kicks and no doubt, at full speed and from his angle Dean felt sure enough to give Tottenham their penalty after 34 minutes when Bale went down attempting to go past Wojciech Szczesny in the Arsenal goal," Dean told the Daily Mail.

"If it was a foul it should have been a red card for the keeper and perhaps Dean had doubts over the accuracy of his decision and left him on the pitch.

"Replays showed that Bale had not been fouled but I would not blame Dean for being fooled; rather look at the conduct of Bale and plead that the FA introduce retrospective punishment for diving.

"This would not need a change to laws of the game, nor permission from the IFAB or FIFA as it is up to each governing body to determine their own disciplinary code."

Nevertheless, Poll is thankful that Bale's "unsporting" behaviour did not spoil a "great game of football".

"What a great game of football and thank goodness it wasn't spoilt by an unsporting act by Gareth Bale," Dean added.

"The second half changed into a more one-sided affair as Arsenal dominated their north London rivals but Dean still had some refereeing to do and if what you crave is consistency then you'd have seen more red cards than the one ultimately issued to Scott Parker in the dying minutes.

"That decision was perhaps Dean's easiest; Parker knew it and apologised before leaving the field.

"Overall Dean should be very pleased with his performance despite the penalty/red card issue. However, referees aim for perfection and are very hard on themselves when watching incidents back."